There’s a trap that some people get caught in—especially when they are looking for some sort of emotional healing. They come across people and ideas that suggest that they “surrender” to their emotions. There is a thread of truth in this (that is, part of emotional health is to be able to “feel” our feelings, and this is like surrendering to them—but it is not a surrender per se because a surrender is a giving of ourselves over to another, and it would be silly to do this with every fickle and irrational feeling that we feel).
Instead of surrendering to our emotions (and some people would differentiate between emotions and feelings—but here I am using these terms interchangeably), we need to surrender to our Creator—the One who created our emotions. In recovery circles of all types, the term Higher Power is used, and this is what I am getting at. Whoever is or whatever is or however you conceptualize the being or energy or force that is greater than you in this universe is the focus-destination of our surrendering. I prefer terming said Higher Power as God, but if you prefer not to, then use the term that is preferable to you.
If we want to get better (from our trip ups) or get over (our hang ups) or get past (our past) or get free (of our compulsions), or get stronger (than our insecurities) then we are going to need a force greater than ourselves. We cannot surrender to “ourselves” or our fickle and un-trustable emotions. That doesn’t make any sense. We can only surrender to the Creator of ourselves—to the stable and ever-trustable God of the universe. He is the only true path forward if we are looking for healing of any sort.
Surrendering involves allowing someone or something else to essentially take over, or to control us or direct us. This requires a certain degree of trust—if not complete trust—in the person we are surrendering to. Spiritually speaking, when we surrender to God, we are saying that we are allowing him to have complete control in our lives. It means that we trust him enough to let go of the reigns of our life and to hand them over to him and to yield our heart and our mind and our hurts to him. This is no small thing. But it is necessary if we want to experience the sweet spiritual intimacy that God wants to have with us.
After all, being in fellowship with God melts everything else away in this life that weighs us down or that hardens us or that stagnates us—it all simply fades. And God’s presence, power, and sweetness in our life are exactly the elements that cause us to triumph over everything that seeks to hold us back, hold us down, take us down, or keep us down. Jesus said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give [my sheep] a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10 NLT).
Consider this: “[L]etting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace” (Romans 8:6 NLT).
Also: “Christ’s love controls us” (2 Corinthians 5:14 NLT).
And remember: “Trust in the Lord with all your heat; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8 NLT).
The Hebrew word translated as the verb fear is yare’, which means to revere. And revere is defined in the Collins English Dictionary as “to regard with respect tinged with awe.” And the word awe is “an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like.”
When we surrender to God, we are allowing ourselves to experience this “overwhelming feeling of reverence” that is produced by acknowledging that our God is indeed “extremely powerful.” If we want healing of any kind—but especially emotional healing—it starts and ends with surrendering to God, with revering his name, with acknowledging his great power. We can never heal ourselves (as so many self-professed “healers” proclaim we can do if only we just surrender to our emotions and let the life force take over). But we can receive our healing from The Healer—if only we just surrender to him and let his new life in us take over.
I pray that you will experience the sweetness of God’s presence in your life as you walk another day with him.